Our Fall October Dunderberg Peak Ghost Town Expedition On 10/26/2019

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Nov 8, 2019, 9:34:06 PM11/8/19
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I have spent years wanting to visit the Dunderberg Peak aka Castle Peak area according to early pioneers because it is home to a mill, ghost town and mining camp. I had it on my list but every time we were up near Bridgeport we just had gotten to busy to check out this place since really its a half of day trip if you want to see everything. I felt it was a good trip to take in October so that we could enjoy the fall colors and beautiful weather. Man it turned out to be a nice day on this trip could have even worn shorts it had gotten fairly warm for such a high elevated place like Dunderberg Peak and the Sawtooth Mtns.

Our expedition would focus on a couple sites one of course being Dunderberg the other being the old Bridgeport Cemetery. The two do share a few things that is why I wanted to make sure I got them both done in the same day because every year near Halloween we do a really awesome project just like this. I cant think of a better ghost town or location to go up to this time of year. In the fall Bridgeport is gorgeous you have Mono Lake, Bodie, Snow capped Peaks, Volcanic Craters, High Desert and forest all in the same area its amazing. The old routes were used by pioneers then previous the native Americans who traversed them to trade with other tribes.

Just outside Bridgeport are some mining camps and ghost towns im slowly trying to get them all done and I am close to succeeding. I would stop at Dog Town to another ghost town site which right now is flooded then again its always flooded grrr. But I was there a  year ago and would come back to it on this trip. We also did Monoville and Mono City nearby too so the area has much to explore and check out. Bridgeport use to be a stage stop you had to cross the bridge over the river to move onto to these other boom towns back in the day via stage coach or wagon.

Some of the fall colors in Mono County are the best you can see in the country really. Mono County is very desolate very low population and plus its your gateway into Yosemite which I want to go back to so I can see more of it. Their is a sub range that overshadows Bridgeport called the Sawtooth Mtns. It looks like a saw as the tops of the mountains are all jagged. We would be going to Dunderberg Peak which is just a little south of this range in a valley known as Sinnamon Valley named after the pioneer who homesteaded this land even before the mining camp came to be.

That pioneer is buried in the cemetery also but his farm kind of led to the Homestead Act because he settled in the valley below Dunderberg Peak along a beautiful creek with a mix of high desert and forest. I just adore this place if I had a little house or cabin up on the edge of both id never want to leave. This is gods country but people tend to overlooks the history but if your like me who enjoys to offroad this area offers miles of dirt roads below the peak some more rugged then others but no less my goal was to explore this ghost town long forgotten and abandoned to the elements. My adventure begins here!

Dunderberg California aka Munckton California
(Hoover Wilderness Expedition)

This peak is massive you can see it from Bridgeport actually you can see the peak 50 miles away afterall its 12,600 k one of the tallest of peaks in the Toiyabe National Forest. The peak is a beast but it also is full of gold. In theory because the peak has good flowing creeks some feel the rich placer gold had washed off the peak down into the tributaries where it ended up at the bottom along Virginia Creek in Dogtown which led to one of the first towns in Mono County back in 1857 during the gold rush.

As you head up to the town site and mill you travel through the high desert leaving behind to your back Bridgeport. You can see Bridgeport below but it looks smaller and smaller along with views of the reservoir. The road is actually decent you can take a car to the mill site. If you want to go beyond you will need 4wd or a jeep. But the valley itself is full of dirt roads, rolling hills with cattle grazing and really awesome views because you continue to climb. The road follows you above this wooded creek all the trees are bare due to winter coming soon.

The peak is full of lush forest but as you get to the summit its very bare and they look like mounds of bare earth. I assume its because this mountain is extremely high and therefore very little grows up there due to the elevation and of course the elements. This is not a mountain that is attained to get to easily as a matter in fact all the rolling foothills etc are all part of this mountain. So we would have to offroad on the mountain for probably seven miles just to get to the 8'600' level.

The journey is amazing up to Dunderberg Mill you nearly travel 1500 feet above the Bridgeport Valley behind you is a high desert while off in front of you there are groves of pine trees and aspens. The foliage gets greener and denser the closer you get closer to the peak. To your right there is this massive canyon with rugged cliffs and the beginnings of the Sawtooth mountains. To the left is Dunderberg Peak one must wonder if the roads that veer right lead to some really nice hidden gems. I always am looking for more places to hike and explore at so ill have to keep it in mind.

You start to follow this creek even though its a bit high desert still aspens grow along the creek to your left below then eventually you climb another hill and you reach this valley with cattle grazing everywhere. Its very green and lush in the spring not so much this time of year. I was a bit disappointed nearly all the aspens lost there gold leaves the thing is that up here winter is already here not so much fall because of the high elevations. So while a few aspens were gold most simply were bare but the pines were very green still which seem to be mixed in with the aspens.

The meadows were brown but no less this is a rich cultural site most of it is fenced off. But it has been a summer pasture now for 150 plus years. I seen cattle grazing so if you come up here expect to see some pasture land. I always thought that was a bit strange seeing cattle in the forest or up on the side of a mountain but here its been going on for decades. Pioneer James Sinnamon had claimed this land under the homestead act as a matter in fact his land bordered the mining camp. But he was here before the camp took a foothold up on the edge of the meadows before its time to climb to a higher elevation.

James Sinnamon came to this meadow built a homestead just during the summer months. The land was claimed under the Homestead Act by early prospectors including the properties name in the 1850's. You could not graze cattle here in the winter snow storms drop sometimes ten feet a snow at a time and I'm not even joking about it. The meadow as in a western film called Bell Starr's Daughter made in the 1940's. Most of you probably never seen the movie but you would have seen the peaks in the background. Funny thing is a town did exist near the meadow the mill actually resides on the edge of it. Prior to that the natives traversed this meadow probably to hunt, trade and gather. James Sinnamon is buried at the Bridgeport Cemetery and we would visit his gravesite after this expedition.

This is a tiered mountain meaning that the dirt roads take you higher and higher to different flat areas below the peak. One of those flat areas is a place called Dunderberg Meadows which in the summer is full of wild purple flowers but all the flowers were gone the meadows were brown and fall was here. I had gotten out not sure where but pushed through the woods and I found the creek. The creek was flowing good it was clear water a couple feet deep and water was just rushing past me meandering through the woods.

I had a hard time at first trying to get to the mill there is a ranch up here no houses or anything but there is just below the mill a giant cattle grazing area that is fenced in or corral. The road up to the mill goes through it however the gate is locked. This pasture has been here since the mid 1800's so we had to find another way around it. I noticed there is a few little side roads that had gates with locks and keep out signs. Its a bit odd to see I mean as high up on the mountain you are its surprising anyone owns land or anything up here and then you wonder why are the roads off limits what is back here that makes gating the road off so relevant.

Eventually we came up on the mill site there is a three way split in the road up near here if you continue down the road you can go to a lake or continue to follow this road down off the mountain. If you make a right you can ascend up to the Ward Mining Village which is the upper part of this ghost town. If you go back a little ways there is a road that takes you through a meadow and up into this canyon. I have no idea where all the roads go but id love to see more of this area its beautiful here.

Just below this mill if you walk down a hill there is this thick patch of woods I started to hike down to it but the creek was flowing to good to cross. I have a feeling the woods may hold some secrets to and surrounding this mill is large flat areas probably where miner cabins once stood, businesses etc. All of the town is gone the mill my friends is in ruins but it still exist even if so very little remains.

There is bricks all over the place, rusty pieces of metal, wood beams and nails. I found a stone wall which we climbed down off of built into the hill side. The mill is in shambles and I seen some old time vintage pictures this was a huge mill at one time. If you take the road to the upper part of the mining camp to the left a few hundred feet away in the woods is a dump pile or rather the mine itself which the tunnel entrance is collapsed. I know because I climbed behind the dump pile and found a tunnel that you cant even get in.

My dogs ran all over the place around the dump pile meanwhile I climbed it to enjoy the views of the valley below and across the way you can see the Bodie Hills. Near the mine dump pile there are wood beams and a frame which is probably part of a tram system or at least an ore cart trestle. You would load the ore onto an ore cart it would leave the mine then travel across this trestle or tram and dump the ore onto the pile. I found remnants of a steam boiler as well and a few pipes that sort of thing. You can find a few things if you walk around the woods behind the dump pile of the mine.

The pile of ore is what I was standing on and behind it hidden in some brush is remnants of some sort of foundation there are walls, rebar and some flat concrete slab also. I am thinking they had some ore crusher or stamps back here. The ore once it was dumped probably made its way to the mill just a few hundred feet down the road and the big open areas below the dump pile and behind the mill was the town site which is long gone. I did climb behind the dump pile through the woods went into this ravine which took me to a collapsed mine entrance. The ravine had a few bolts, pieces of metal and wood beams but whatever was here maybe an ore cart or tram system is long gone.

Everyone claims there is one cabin remaining near the mill I never found it I looked vigorously but there are many patches of dense woods. But the mill is really why I came because the mill is what employed the miners and the mine of course. But like most ghost towns they became this way because the mines were exhausted and then the mill shut down.

I decided to head up to the upper part of town I call it the upper part but really its another mine camp that started in the late 1800's once Dunderberg Mine was exhausted. They decided to mine closer to the peak for the mountains gold. I would be going from 8,600' to over 10k maybe even higher its hard to really know exactly because the summit was fairly close to where the Ward Camp resides.

Not much of Dunderberg remains of the lower or upper camp as the area has had a few fires but not just that but the storms that come over this peak are massive. You have to think that the winter storms that hit this region hit this area first before rolling down off the mountain and moving onto Bodie. Some of you know Bodie can get 10 feet of snow in a storm if that tells you anything so at 12k it has to be a wintry hell up here although during my exploration within a couple hours we went from it being in the teens to a beautiful 75 degree day even up near the peak!

The road to get to the Ward Mining Camp is not difficult however let me add its very very narrow in fact its so narrow that there are patches of woods where the trees touch the sides of your vehicle. I would have had no issue hiking the few miles but the days are short and we always have other locations to explore on these trips. Which means if we hiked we would probably have gotten back to late to see or do anything else so we roughed it with the truck. I own a sports suburban its a half ton truck so it is big and I did suffer some scratches in the paint and I am okay with that my vehicle takes allot of beatings the past few years its all cosmetic.

Its crazy but quite a few aspen groves are found growing up near the peak in a sense this narrow road is very eerie because honestly they grow so close together you cant even see into the woods hardly. Of course with no leaves present on any of the trees you can see a little further into the woods. You have to understand this is a intense bigfoot area but also there is another creature which is more sinister found up in this area too. You would never know if anything cryptid is out there because it has plenty of places to hide and if its not hiding you cant see far back into the woods to even know its there. You cant open your doors because the road is to narrow and you cant turn around so once you begin this trek you have to take it most of the way until you reach other meadows, woodless hills and various areas that overlooks the valley below.

When your taking the road for a couple miles the first leg of that journey you have no idea where your at you know your ascending towards the peak but how far away or how high your going your sort of in the dark. When I came out of the aspen groves I begin to take in some really great views as a matter in fact some of the best views of Mono Lake can be seen from up here. I been doing all sorts of projects around Mono Lake this past year or two but to be high above it was for me a real treat very grandiose for sure.

I had coordinates for the mine they must had been off because it was just a field with rocks. I know in fact its off because the mine is up near the peak the second Dunderberg Mine occurred up near the peak. The mines in this mountain actually ran probably almost a 1000' they were hard rock tunnel mines know easy task at these kind of elevations. The road starts to veer towards the peak then you go over this hill come down and your in a canyon. One road goes to the right in some dense woods while the other road goes left down to a small patch of woods that surrounds this meadow and that is where the Ward Mining Village can be found.

The road is very steep down hill also rugged boulders etc and you cant see the remnants till you get nearly to the bottom. This happens to be a small flat area within the canyon just below the peak. The miner cabins sit in a shady grove of trees just beyond that is a meadow and you can make out an area going nearly straight up near the peak cleared of trees. There was a hermit that lived here after the camp shut down or prospector he was crippled but had a path up to the peak he would take daily to do some mining with a pole in each hand pulling himself two thousand feet above his cabin. So id say we stood probably around 10,600' so this is one of the higher up ghost towns found in the sierras and the mine sits near the peak at over 12k making it one of the highest mines in the range as well.

From the camp itself you cant see the mine but there is allot of loose rock visible from far away. I bet that rock was brought out of the mines. I know that this mine had a mill above the camp that crushed the ore but more then likely its gone if anything all that might be left is the foundation, bricks, wood beams etc kind of like the Dunderberg Mill where we just came from. There is a ridge that you can see full of woods from the mining village which runs along the canyon up to the peak. Over that ridge actually is a lake im sure even if I set off from here to hike to it this would not be an easy jaunt even if it is .6 miles away you have to go up over the ridge to get to so who knows maybe ill camp at this ghost town and take a journey to the lake which sits below the summit.

 This is a very very unique place the views are timeless also I mean through the trees you can see Sinnamin alley, forest floor below and the high desert mountains miles to the east. When we arrived we found four roughly four cabins all of them in ruins only one of them had a solid roof on it another was just walls, another was a two room cabin but had no roof and another one was had gaps throughout the walls. The cabins are in bad shape you can tell that since the wood flooring is missing out of a few of them probably someone used the wood for their campfire. There is a rock with ashes and charred pieces of wood more then likely some just are to lazy to bring their own firewood or find some in the forest. I hate when people destroy these places I am sure the cabins were in much better shape years ago but between the human factor and elements the miner cabins that once housed them are barely standing just below the peak.

I did hike off to the meadow there was a few smaller seasonal creeks and I went a little ways down another small dead end dirt rod which took me to a stone foundation with three walls. While most cabins were made of wood this one was different they probably built their cabin out of native stone. Most of the cabins were made out of materials found in this canyon so the trees were cut to built these cabins while the stone foundation was probably made with stones found along the creek or from the mine above. I went down a hill in the canyon and heard some rapids thought id check it out. I came across Dunderberg Peak man it was flowing and cascading down the mountains. The little tributaries in the meadow ran off of this creek but the meadows were all brown afterall it was October despite that water was flowing good up here.

You have to understand that this is a very unique area you have water flowing down through the canyons from Yosemite and many peaks are snowcapped. The snow melts and it flows you could see some snow up near the peak when I was there. Most of it melted recently because it was a warm October with very little precipitation while September they had a couple snowstorms. So some of the water flowing was snowmelt. Personally after seeing the creek, mining camp sitting in a shady grove, views from the meadow of the peak above and the valley floor below and serenity here I never wanted to leave. I may someday camp up here how cool would it be to camp in a ghost town, perhaps summit the peak and visit the lake?

Tammy and I did our investigation we take EVP's and I also took EMF readings which were very high up here. I find that ghost towns are the best place to seek out the paranormal or at least energy imprints. Their is energy at these places for years miners lived up here living in seclusion high above Bridgeport. We had lunch at the cabins sitting up on a log at one of the cabin sites. I brought some marijuana pumpkin bread all homemade with a pumpkin we picked two weeks prior to this trip. It was good full of chocolate and nuts. We had other really healthy snacks too and I had me an orange also. We try to eat healthy on our trips.

Man it was so quiet up here you could hear the creek flowing and it was in the 70's no breeze. I mean generally when your at an elevation this high its window and cooler but this was not the case so we soaked it up. Then again maybe the gray treeless peaks above us were shielding us from the winds of the sierra this place sits below the summit at nearly the op of the canyon surrounded all three sides two of them being ridge lines. Nobody had been up here for awhile it was a bit muddy and wet yet no human tracks. I did see a couple vehicle tracks so I know folks are coming up here but still only a small handful of ghost town explorers ever make it to this place while its not as fancy as some ghost towns this is a gorgeous place which one can let the imagination run a little wild as to what life was like in the 1800's up here.

Honestly, I think if I can camp in the ghost town a couple days maybe climb this peak and get down to the lake I have a good chance at finding some good bigfoot evidence. I mean once you set off to explore the forest or the peak area your primitive there is no hiking trails up here you just go wherever your heart desires or wherever you wish to explore. I am not sure if there is another way to get to the mine if you go back up the hill there is a road that veers to the right. I actually had to weave around trees but took it a few hundred feet back and well I turned around because my truck was very long and I was clearing big trees with inches to spare. But I did walk it a few hundred feet on top of it I cant tell if it veers right back down to Sinnamon Valley or up to the mine. But based on maps I studied it appears to veer towards the peak and to the mine which has a huge dump pile of ore visible on satellite maps.

I wanted to go up to the mine but were not done with this place really I need to camp here. I think this place would be creepy as hell to camp at. But I think that if I had a couple days to hike, explore and see more of this place we could find some other cool sites. I actually did notice that there were a few sets of human tracks going up to the mine I bet someone is going up here to look for gold. I doubt they are going there just to explore. I mean there is still gold up near the peak I am sure in theory most believe that all that placer gold found in Virginia Creek in Dogtown was washed down into the creek from Dunderberg.

Dogtown resides at the bottom of Dunderberg along a highway the same one you take that passes ten miles from Bodie. Back in the day quite a few big towns existed up here Aurora, Masonic, Bodie etc which are all major ghost towns. Dunderberg was not as large but it had two booms the first one at the 8,600 foot level the second at around 11k which is why the Ward Mining Village was built because this where the miners lived. It probably had many more structures but again storms, fires and age has been a factor in erasing this location. I am sure the big open meadow just below the peak had a few structures and its probably a meadow because it appears that the trees were cleared here and probably so they could be used to built the cabins and beams for the mine.

I bet when old Ed lived here he saw some strange things its a really pretty place. Id like to see it when its more green and not so brown. Winter has taken hold up here most trees are bare, no grass, no wild flowers etc. I could do a group trip but its so hard to find folks who want to do this kind of thing at least people I trust and can rely on. If you do not like heights, rugged roads and ghost towns this high up because you cant breath it wont be for you. I am use to high elevations I can hike and never once get elevation sickness but many of my friends from back east would be miserable trying to breath and explore up here its the real deal. More then likely you cant even get to this place during the Spring and into the summer because the snow buries this place most of the year.

My goal was after checking out the mine village I would try to find a road to go out to Dunderberg Pond I just call it that since it sits on the old Dunderberg Mining Road about a half of mile from the mines. Descending was rough real rough because now we were going downhill. The problem is the road is so narrow that you cant even go around boulders especially ones that are embedded that you cant move. My riser caught one of them going down and because it supported the weight of my truck the entire thing snapped off. I heard a huge noise and was like holy shit what was that I look out the window straight down and the thing is just broken right off on the ground. I had to run it over and clear it really I should not be offroading with them anyhow since the passenger one is twisted bent and the driver one is now gone. Hell surprised I did not lose it sooner earlier this year we did some old Pony Express trails and some rugged sierra trips we hit the riser hard but I never lost it and well Dunderberg took the dang thing right off snapped all four metal brackets in half!

The pond or small lake is very blue from up above or the mining camp you can get good views traveling along the road up to the upper camp as you look out to your left overlooking the different tiers below of this massive mountain. Years ago they probably utilized the pond for grazing livestock but who knows. Its not very large a few hundred feet across. Their are many other lakes that surrounded Dunderberg Peak honestly how many? Around ten! Yes nearly ten lakes surround this peak all within a couple thousand feet of the summit and yes its a big summit.

The mine camp is on the eastern flank but on the back side are more lakes then the side we were on. You can take a dirt road around the peak and go up to Green Lake I want to camp there its on the NW side of the Mountain and they have some primitive camp sites. So I don't think were done some of the lakes have no roads are hard to get to even if you want to get to them you have cliffs,ridges and of course there is that 12k peak that sits in the middle of it all so a prime spot for Bigfoot because where I find lots of water I find lots of Bigfoot that is just how it works with this creature.

I actually seen some deer heading back down in the forest like I said very dense forest but this area had less trees and I could see them a couple hundred feet staring at me. Their had to be at least four or five deer. I could not get a good photo I tried but they were so skiddish and like I said the woods are dense so I could only see there heads and bodies walking among the trees far off. But at least I know their is wildlife up here and I was stoked about it just wish I could have gotten better photos. I did not see much nature most of the leaves were gone, only those deer and maybe one wildflower. Of course in the warmer months this is a really lush place so I'm sure another time of year id seen much more.

I did make my way down to the mill this time I took the road to the second dump pile you see you have a couple groves of aspens each one holds a dump pile. The mill is in between the both of them really well sort of but its not far you can walk to both dump piles in a few minutes but they are separate piles. I am not sure they are separate mines really the only mine for a few miles in the area are the Dunderberg Mines and its possible that the mine connected to both mine entrances where the dump piles are located which is about 500 to 800 feet apart along a hill side.

I did climb up on the second dump pile took an overgrown path behind it found what looked like another collapsed mine entrance. However, the first dump pile closer to the mill has more evidence that a mine existed because there is a hole in the side of the rocks or rather hill side and then its all collapsed plus their was many wood beams just below that entrance probably where an ore cart system existed. I did not find as much remaining behind at this dump pile as the other one closer to the mill so I am thinking that the main mine begin there and this dump pile came to be later on. I did have a few other mines marked in the area never found anything most of the mines around are no goes.

If you go through another grove of aspens again the road gets very narrow and rugged it splits off again the road to the right continues on to another main dirt road which eventually comes out to Virginia Lakes Road. Personally Virginia Lakes is a bit to busy for me although from those lakes you backpack beyond them on the back side of Dunderberg Peak and hit some more remote lakes.  I probably will do two or three more trips out to this peak so I can see more lakes perhaps summit the peak and look more for remnants of Dunderberg. This research takes time you have a massive mountain that covers miles upon miles of wilderness. I can do historical, bigfoot and ghostly research all in one trip up here.

Tammy and I veered to the left we did not go straight but we went a ways down this road to check something out then turned around visiting Dunderberg Pond. We found some foundation up on a hill overlooking the pond. Getting to the pond though was not a go to high of brush, cat tails, marshland etc so we could only get about 60 feet from its shoreline. We had to hike in there is a road that goes around the pond but it was out or washed out per say and I did not feel like losing my muffler so we walked a few hundred feet with our drinks, some snacks and sat up on a log on a hill just above the pond and below once again the peak halfway down the mountain.

The views of the valley are really nice up here you can take in the hills surrounding Dogtown afar and the Bodie Mountains across the expanse. You can tell the pond served an early homestead or ranch site it probably was a watering hole for cattle. Its weird because you can see the pond just about anywhere from the road to the upper camp. I just had to find out how to get close to it so we could check it out to get some photos.

After our hike we drove back out past the Dunderberg Mill although that road that passes by the pond you can take south it intersects with Virginia Lakes Road which is paved but I was just done with these narrow dirt roads going through groves. I actually just went north then down a hill and around the pond then followed it around the grove and south till I hit Virginia Lakes Road. The dirt road we took was about 8 miles below Dunderberg Peak and oh man it was scenic with woods to our right and high desert to our left. It was a scenic route actually an old wagon route and we descended into this forested canyon where there was this big volcanic lava dome and other peaks coming into the view. If I would have went to my right I could have went out to some of the lakes on the SW side of Dunderberg but we went left instead so we could get out to Dogtown and Bridgeport before nightfall.

But man this is a beautiful place views of Black Mountain and your just below Yosemite its really grand. I read there is 12 alpine lakes up here all around 9k so way up there. No less their is a general store, cabins and a resort but still much quieter then Yosemite nearby really nearby your on the edge of it. But my day spent in the Hoover Wilderness was not only a first but an amazing journey.

 This is one for the books and I wont forget being up here anytime soon. I came home and was like I want to go back but now with winter taking hold who knows ill have to wait for Spring or Fall to enjoy this area again and the wait is gonna kill me because I want to hike, climb, camp, fish etc and this area offers all of that along with the ghost town of Dunderberg to enjoy. I believe their is more to see up here and were going to have to do a camping trip in the ghost town at nearly 11k in the future because I want to know what its like to have a camp site up by the summit where you can see for a 100 miles.

I have at least three more trips planned till we close our case with Dunderberg one of them we will camp below the peak at the Ward Mining Village another one will take place below Dunderberg and the Sawtooth Mountains at Green Lake. The third one will transpire on the back side at Virginia Lakes where will backpack and camp out there perhaps check out some other lakes. There are twelve lakes that surround the peak most over 9k just below the peak which sits back six to seven miles above Bridgeport. I cant wait to do more research maybe find some bigfoot tracks up here get some EVP at the ghost town even find some hidden sites in the woods that maybe the miners left behind. The ghost town is a protected site its posted but you are allowed to visit it and camp up here as long as you treat the site with respect. So little remains we must do everything we can to preserve this place on our site and the current projects I am working.

From here out the road is paved back to the highway I would make a left then a few miles up near the turn off to Bodie along Virginia Creek is the Dogtown Site which boast a plaque. Over a year ago I went up here to check it out could not get to the miner cabin site or gravesite figured since I was up here and it was Fall things have dried out a little boy was I wrong. Its even more flooded then when I went with my dog Rascal. There is this road you take to cross the creek well the creek rushes over the road only this time the water was much deeper and it spanned the road for 30' instead of 12' like the first time I was up here. I did not want to risk being stuck in the middle of the creek my vehicle probably can handle it but then again the road below the few of water looked like silt rather then rocks and again it was deep enough to cause issues so ill just have to try another time.

I come out here pretty often I love Mono County id like to revisit Bodie again in the near future and we will do a couple camping trips around Dunderberg so we can open up a few new locations on our website then hotlink them all for the public to enjoy so its a work in progress. But I can one day see this on our site as something all of you can enjoy and perhaps even love. The scenic views are unbelievably sick I got some killer photos from near the top of the peak of the valley, pond, Mono Lake, Bridgeport, Bodie Hills etc.

If you were a miner in Dunderberg you had gotten to take in these kind of views no wonder that old timer Ed lived up here for so many years yeah maybe it was for the gold but somehow I also think it was for the views too. Not much has changed since the Native Americans navigated Dunderberg Peak and its meadows today it looks as it did Hundreds of years ago.

I work hard for my viewers we want to give our members, friends, family and fans something they can look at perhaps cherish. Dunderberg is a special place some of the best fall colors and leaves changing colors can be seen around this peak. I just next time need to get out here a couple weeks earlier because winter comes early so the leaves change earlier then in other places around California and Nevada. I know one thing though the Hoover Wilderness was breathtaking and I want to see more of it. I visit all these wildernesses, landscapes, high deserts, national forest etc and the more I see the more addicting it becomes. I cant get this place out of my head trust me ill be waiting for awhile impatiently for a second journey!

We would head on to Bridgeport the sun was not to far off from setting so we would try to get in one more location before our trek home. That would include Bridgeport Pioneer Cemetery and visiting some of the towns oldest sites which still stand today. I would love to get more folks involved on these treks but not everyone shares the same love I share for the outdoors and the history found within it. Allot of time, money and risk goes into what we do you read about it yes perhaps see videos and photos but being a part of it is an entirely different story one I cant put down on paper you just have to experience this place life is good when your on top of the world especially above 10k. There is another ghost town will be doing eventually near Bridgeport that is also over 10k called Belfort so look for that trip in the future too!

Bridgeport Historic Cemetery

I have spent about five years now trying to get to this place but it usually was last on the list because I was working on ghost towns or other bigger locations nearby. The cemetery has many early pioneers buried here from Bridgeport's earlier days when it was just a stage stop that wagons passed through crossing over the river. Even from the cemetery you can see Dunderberg Peak from afar and to think I was just below the summit at some ghost town is very awesome.

The cemetery sits on a hill overlooking town its not the original burial ground it took nearly sixty years to move all the graves and pioneers from downtown Bridgeport to this location. But the graves do date back to the mid 1800's when miners came with there families here. Some of the miners and settlers lived in Bodie others Dunderberg, Aurora and Masonic. While some just came to Bridgeport to live the ranching life.

I really love downtown Bridgeport the old hotel is now the courthouse but more so downtown is historic, lit up and the river comes through town. Surrounding the cemetery are quite a few newer homes hell they are nice homes I could live in a house like that what a view. Behind the cemetery are the Bodie Hills covered in a high desert forest then to the north and west are homes. So the area is a bit residential some folks were out walking there dog around the cemetery.

There are three rows along of just historical graves many of them pioneers. There was various family plots even one section had these white monuments all taller then me surrounded by wrought iron. I noticed also the Sinnamon Family. You can see the grave of James Sinnamon who is buried here along with his family. He came to this Dunderberg Peak area to homestead the land and build a ranch because the mountain was lush with meadows good for grazing. Do you know what else is good for grazing? The Bridgeport Valley which has many ranches from the 1800's Near the cemetery are some old outbuildings actually.

This is a huge cemetery while the historic graves are within the first few roads you have lonely graves towards the back of it and scattered. There is also a hundred or so metal white crosses almost all of them are nameless. I am thinking that these were the folks that were exhumed and moved here. Maybe they were unknowns at the other cemetery so they just gave them a cross once they transferred the coffins here. Its a bit sad you hve no idea who these folks are all in all their is about five hundred graves.

There also is a nice angel statue in the back of the cemetery its one of my favorite grave sites. There is a few smaller ones to if you can find them. I did notice that many of the graves here are children as a matter in fact there are newer children stones. I hate seeing that really over the years I see some really sad graves. For example there is a child buried next to his grandmother I believe he was six with angel statues around the grave site. Another grave site a mother is buried next to her child and there is toys along with this large metal truck. I believe the mother and child died the same time perhaps a car accident.

There is a section of the cemetery with a lone statue of Mary with a few graves with flowers. This may be veterans but I cant say but every grave has flowers some had flags. The entrance has a huge wrought iron arch and the entire flooring of the cemetery is dirt no grass, shrubs or even trees really. Well that is not entirely true the flag pole at the entrance has a grass knoll around it and some trees line the road and fence line in the front of the cemetery.

One of the graves is that of a father, mother and daughter who were the first white family to live in Bodie. Many of the people buried here lived in towns that are today ghost towns hell even Dunderberg its really amazing if you take the time to read some of the graves. This cemetery has many types of graves surprisingly they are in good shape. A huge stone had been fixed that broke in half and there was a few toppled stones but for the most part its in good condition in comparison to other graveyards I been to recently.

I did not see anything strange but my EMF detector kept going off over and over. This cemetery has quite a few wrought iron enclosures one of them had at least twenty graves inside it was huge. I really love this place it has a pioneer feel to it but some of the newer graves are mixed in with older historic ones. It seems the families buried here stick together even generations later. You have many descendents of the folks buried here who also were interred decades later.

I also remember seeing a grave with a statue of a dog holding a stick. Many of the graves have character to them its a really awesome place. But unfortunately the sun was almost down behind Dunderberg Peak and the Sawtooth Mountains so we had to wrap it up. I did drive down about four roads within the cemetery to take one last look at the graves. I spent a good amount of time here to be honest with you trying to take EVP. The one thing that stands out at this cemetery is almost every tombstone, grave, monument etc is white even the metal crosses all white!

Before it had gotten dark we were deciding what we should eat for dinner most things in Bridgeport close early. They have a haunted inn and restaurant I ate at before love that place but its spendy. As it is gas cost me over a hundred dollars just to take a trip like this and since nobody donates to PGS anymore I suck up that cost myself to do these investigations and research. So we decided we would go back home get dinner elsewhere actually pick up dinner from Chili's.

Before we left Bridgeport I did stop near the community center actually behind it there is this children's park with about an acre or two of grass. Guess what? That was where the cemetery once stood now its gone and its a bit morbid kids play on the swings and jungle gym not even realizing that pioneers were once buried here. On the grounds is also the old pioneer church today its a museum so out front there are wagons, cogs, ore carts, ore stamp crushers, mining machinery and farm equipment just rusting away. There is a few other old houses and buildings surrounding the park this really is the heart of Bridgeport. They probably moved the cemetery to make room for the community center, park and museum.

Between the community center and cemetery down a side road near the river you can read about the old courthouse that which was the first one. Its long gone but the plaque does state there is remnants of it its hard to know the brush behind the plaque is rather high and beyond that are a few old wood structures. I went around to the front of them and they are some of the oldest structures in Bridgeport. Just a few old wooden homesteads perhaps they may have been businesses back in the day its hard to know but to me they look like homes with porches. Not much remains of the original town except for these structures, the courthouse downtown which use to be a hotel back in the day, inn and saloon. I also seen the old mono county jail which btw is made of stone and its original too.

I parked to take a break in front of the old courthouse this is the second one built yes but no less its historic. Its one of the most recognizable landmarks in the country and in this town. The courthouse has some haunting tales its a beautiful structure and today it still is in use. Id love to take a tour sometime of it or check it out. If you keep up with our site then you have seen photos of it but this time I took a few more because I was doing a special section on our site to go with the cemetery which is posting some photos of Bridgeport's historic sites and structures. So that you can kind of put the town with the cemetery if that makes sense.

Back in the day when the county seat was moved to Bridgeport the town bought The American Hotel and not only converted it into the courthouse but it held the offices for county employees Mono County that is. The bad men of Bodie often had seen justice at this courthouse and back in the day many of the bad men were hung for there crimes probably out front no doubt. The jail, courthouse, inn and those old wooden cabins are all within a short walk of one another. I also found a bridge that crosses the river well its a foot bridge so this is a really pleasant place. With the sunset the sky was all pink and orange with tall peaks overshadowing the town it was really a phenomenal way to finish our day off.

For dinner I had Chili's actually had some chipotle ribs, roasted flavorful asparagus and these loaded
cheddar mashed potatoes. Dinner was bomb along with there onion petals for an appetizer and a giant chocolate chip cookie for dessert. If your going to be exploring, climbing mountains, pushing your limits etc its important to end on a good note that is with some beers and good eats. Life is short man you have to embrace the journey and all that comes with it. I was thankful I did not get stuck up at Dunderberg Peak or broke down or had a flat or met some nut etc.

You just never know when you take the road less traveled! It was a really great weekend between the ghost town of Dunderberg, Bridgeport Cemetery, Dinner and other fall activities. Plus we had Hawaiian marijuana homemade pumpkin bread loaded with nuts and chocolate. This trip was phenomenal mixed with history, scenery, great views, pretty sunrise and sunset both which I witnessed in Bridgeport. There was so much adventure to the trip offroading, exploring and ending it the way we did seeing old Bridgeport what a great trip. Perfectly themed just in time for Halloween! I am glad we finally had gotten to visit the old cemetery and ghost town of Dunderberg it had taken us over six years of trying to get up here so it was an adventure in the making that is for sure. I cant wait to see more up here Mono County is amazing nowhere in the world like this area!
Lord Rick
PGS Founder

PS This report is a rough draft therefore renditions may apply once it gets indicted onto our website.

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